2023 - LIAM O'BRIEN, RENOWNED CHEF
Liam O'Brien gained his first kitchen experience as a kitchen hand at Sasha's Restaurant in the Bathurst Motor Inn. This started Liam's culinary journey and he enrolled at Orange TAFE in 2001. He started his apprenticeship at Ziegler's Cafe in Keppel Street, moving to Restaurant Legall in 2002.
In 2003, he gained second place in the NSW State Final Restaurant & Catering Competition, the first of many awards. In 2004, he moved to Sydney to complete the fourth year of his apprenticeship under internationally renowned chef, David Thompson. In 2005, Liam started as chef de partie at Bistro Moncur, another Sydney Morning Herald Two Hat restaurant. He spent 2007 to 2009 as the chef de partie at Parrot Cay Resort and Spa in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where he cooked for many celebrities.
Liam returned to Sydney in 2009, starting as chef de partie at the Sydney Morning Herald Two Hat restaurant Bentley, moving to the equally awarded Universal in 2010, and then as head chef in 2011 at the Alira Restaurant. A year after taking up the role as executive chef for Amankila in Bali, Indonesia, Liam wanted to return to Australia, which he did, opening the Charred Kitchen and Bar in Orange. Charred started from scratch as a new restaurant and bar in town, and quickly became the number one ranked restaurant in Orange, gaining many awards along the way.
- Australian Wine List of The Year Awards in 2020 - finalists in five categories.
- Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2021
- Trip Advisor's Best of the Best Award in 2021
- Best Regional Wine List and Best Spirit List in all of Australasia in the World of Fine Wine Best Wines in the World Awards in 2021, and finalists again in 2022.
This year, the venue earnt its first Hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, followed with Two Hats from the Australian Good Food Guide, and the Readers' Choice Award.